Home Devotional Series Day 4 HUMILITY

by Steve Brown

Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4


All I have and am is a gift.

Conversely, all I am not and all I don’t have is also a gift.

For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?  1 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB)

For who do you know that really knows you, knows your heart? And even if they did, is there anything they would discover in you that you could take credit for? Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So, what’s the point of all this comparing and competing?  1 Corinthians 4:7 (MSG)


I have this framed and hanging on my office wall because I need this reminder every day. Let me tell you why…

I have been leading a portion of our ministry for twenty years. I pray over it. I experiment with it. I think about it all the time and lay out the best plans I can. It’s my life. Our team works closely together. But what irks me the most is when another member of our team, who has not thought about my area of ministry at all, comes to me, and with seemingly no previous investment of thought, suggests an improvement AND IT’S WONDERFUL. Rather than receiving their insight and help with gratefulness, I feel stupid. I resent them. “Why didn’t I come up with that?”

I think I’m angry because they didn’t pay the dues of blood, sweat, and tears that I have and yet they still had a better idea! I also forget that all I am and all I have is a gift from God. And they also have gifts from God. I turn it around in my head and I resent what they have. I feel ashamed of what I do not have or am not. I compare myself with them and in a sense, compete with them. My pride and my shame raise respond in anger.

After I calm down, I reflect on what was going on inside of me, and I call to mind 1 Corinthians 4:7. Remembering this verse calms and centers me. It helps me humble myself as I remember:

All I have and am is a gift.

Conversely, all I am not and all I don’t have is also a gift.

I can now receive as a gift from God all He has given me, and also how He has formed others. None of us earned or deserved how we are made. Each of us is designed by God, on purpose, to bring Him glory. None of us can claim credit. Still, even knowing this, humbling myself has got to be one of the hardest disciplines. It never gets easier. Why is that? It seems battling my pride and my own will is a never-ending struggle.

Pride focuses on self and demands that I should be better than anyone else. Humility opposes that.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

Humbling ourselves is an act of the will, and the Bible says we’re told to do it to ourselves.

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7

Warring with our pride and our wills is a never-ending struggle. Not humbling ourselves and hardening our hearts are linked. [Read about Pharaoh’s hardened heart in Exodus 7 – 13.] One way to keep my heart soft is to remember: all I have and all I am is a gift from God. This takes away the temptation to compare and compete.

Application Question: How about you? What hurdles keep you from embracing humility? What helps you?

Additional Exercise: Do a word study on “humility” or “humble”. What did you learn?


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